Faith that Works Part 3 by Pastor Don
Here is the transcript of a sermon, slightly edited to make for easier reading. Remember three dots … means a pause and what is in the [brackets] is what the congregation says.
Amen [amen] Alright, we want to go to Hebrews Chapter 11, we are in our study on faith that works. Faith that what? [works] Say it again. [works] Faith that works. And we have been looking at a number of things. For those of you that haven’t been with us, we want to start with our keynote verse, which of course, is the most powerful definition of faith that we could find. In Hebrews 11, verse 1, most of you should know it. Come on [recite verse]: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Alright, so faith is something that we have hope for, and then it, itself is evidence. Faith is the evidence. Now, we want to have a faith that works.
Last week and in subsequent weeks, I told you that you must know that you qualify. You must know that you qualify, but you must know that faith is God’s ability. It’s not your ability, but it’s God’s ability. Now, today we want to look at a few things that are scary in their context, of this is the part of faith that requires your participation. Isn’t that wonderful? [amen] Don’t you want to participate in faith? [yes] I hope you do. Alright, so, those of you that are writing things down, you want to get this from the beginning. Here we go.
There is future faith…Three different levels of faith. There’s future faith. Now, future faith is faith that looks ahead…This is the faith that prepares for battle before the battle is even engaged…Future faith is the ability to have faith, to project your faith into the circumstances and situations of life that by realities, you know, there’s such a thing as reality. You know certain things are coming. And therefore you have faith for them before you even get to them. Now, the strongest type of future faith is this, it’s what I call faith that anticipates. If a believer is truly prayed up, he should be projecting part of his faith that says, no matter what comes, I’m prepared for it. No matter what it’s going to look like, I’m going to be ok. No matter what ensues, I have the faith and the relationship with the Lord that’s going to get me through. Now, that’s future faith. That’s faith that, before you see the problem, before you see the circumstance or the situation, you are projecting your faith into the future.
I had a lady say to me, one time I was doing a ministry. I was hosting a TBN show, and after it, she wanted to talk to me. And we sat in her office, and she said to me, “Pastor Don, it’s just around the corner.” … Now, I knew exactly what she meant, because of what I had a sense of. You know what I mean by a sense? [yes] I had a sense that something big was coming into my life, that I had been waiting for. I didn’t know what it was, or how it was going to manifest. But what I did was, I put myself into a position of believing before it happens. I began to project future faith, that no matter what’s coming just around the corner, I’m good to go. [yeah] I will have everything I need when I get there, to do God’s will. I’ll have everything I need. And that is future faith. You cannot anticipate and know everything that’s going to happen. You can end up lost in the world of imaginings. But what you can do, you can learn how to, through prayer, project your faith so that you are prepared for unexpected events. [yes, amen] Okay?
I was joking this morning. One of the church vans broke down, bringing people to church. And when they brought me the information, I just jumped up and I said, “Ohhhh, nooo!, Oh, no.” [I doubt it] But I wasn’t, “Oh no,” on the inside. Why? Because I’m aware stuff like that’s going to happen… And I had the faith to realize that even if those people had to walk, they still would have gotten here. [right] If they had to call or somebody had to carry them… well that’s a little extreme. [laughter]
But you have to have future faith. There’s no way you can be a parent without future faith. [amen] Except to be a bad parent. But any good parent has to have a consciousness that my kids are going to be alright. I can’t see what they’re going to have to face or what they’re going to have to go through, but they’re going to be fine.
You cannot prepare yourself as a bride for a husband, or a husband for a bride, without future faith. And that’s why some of you, you know, you struggle because you don’t project yourself into, well what would I do when I get married? What will I be like when I get married. And then you project your faith, oh hallelujah, I’m going to be a great husband. I am going to be the real deal. [amen!] You know, they’re fixing my white horse right now. [yeah] I’m going to ride into her life and rock her world. [come on pastor!]
But that is, you have to have that, you cannot be successfully employed without future faith. You can’t go into the possibility of having your own business, or the possibility of being promoted or moving into a circumstance, an unknown circumstance without having the internal conversation in your mind, by faith, I’m the one they’re going to hire. I’m going to be good at it. I’m going to find my niche. I’m going to be, ah, it’s going to be great.
I ministered to a guy on the phone this weekend, and I said, “Well, when did you know…” listen to me carefully. “I said, when did you know you would be making this kind of money?” He makes about 200,000 dollars a year now. He’s only like 26 years old, 27 years old. I said, “When did you know you’d be making that kind of money?” He said, “Pastor Don,” he said, “when I was in high school I began to tell my mother…” cause he came from a very poor family. You know, very poor. Single mom, doing the whole thing. And he was at our house more than he was at his own house, I think because we had more food. I don’t know. [laughter] Or something. But, he said, “I began telling myself then that I was going to be rich.”…[hmmmm, Praise the Lord] “I began telling myself then, that I was going to be rich.” You have to have future faith in order to have success.
Let me give you another Biblical example. You ready for this? King David…had future faith. His faith was mobilized when the prophet anointed him. When the prophet anointed him to be king, and many people don’t realize this, he had already done feats of faith. He killed a bear and a lion, and so forth. But, when he got mobilized in faith, he then knew that as king, future king, he was going to be a protector of the nation. So, when he stepped out on the battlefield to face Goliath, he wasn’t stepping out on the battlefield as a shepherd boy, he was stepping out as the future king. [right] Stepping out as the protector of the nation.
You must have what kind of faith? [future faith] Future faith. You must begin to project, you must begin to see, you must begin to envision, you must begin to speak into existence the circumstances and the situations that you’re going to face. Part of your faith should say, as you think about it, when I get to such and such, this is what I’m going to do. The next time the common cold rises up, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to walk in faith. The next time I look at my budget and my bills, I’m going to have the self control to lick this thing. [umh umh] The next time the stock market crashes, I’m not going to be afraid. [amen] I’m going to stand. You need to project into future faith. Alright?
Some people are already planning their next disaster, because they’re attaching doubt and unbelief to that which has not happened yet, rather than attaching faith to it. [amen] So that they can be successful. Glory to God. [hallelujah] I said, Glory to God. [glory]
The next type of faith you need to have is historic faith… Historic faith. Hindsight is 20/20. But, sometimes in hindsight, we’ve been blind. [wow] Blind. I mean blind. You know that saying, they say blind as a bat? Well, that’s pretty ridiculous, because his radar system is so effective he can find a gnat in the night. [yeah] So, how blind is he? You know what I mean? How blind is he?
You need to have historic faith. You need to project your faith back on two levels. First of all, as you look back to where you’ve been, where was it you missed it? Where did your faith not work. You need to keep a record of where you failed in faith. You need to have historic faith that looks back and says, “The last time I was diagnosed with this,” [go Pastor] “I yielded to it.” …”And it took me a year to get over it.” Historic faith. You need to look back and say, “The last time I looked at a man as the answer to all my existence, he let me down before we even got to the altar.” You need to have historic faith, you need to look back at all of the great people of faith, that lost it and missed it. You need to look back at the prophets that lost it to alcohol. Prophets that lost it to sexual sin. You need to have historic faith that looks back and says, “What worked and what didn’t work?”
And you also need to have historic faith that looks over your personal achievements, come on now. Your personal achievements, of faith. When you believed for something and it came to pass, you need to touch the feeling of that faith, and go, “That was faith.” [yeah] … These over here was wishing and hoping and I was devastated because I was disappointed.
I was at a concert last night and a thought came to me. I just want to share it with you. And I wrote it on a small piece of paper. And it was, is God still God when you don’t get your way? [ohhhh, yeah] ….huh? Is He still God when you don’t get your way?… when you look back over the history of your exercising of your faith, when things did not turn out the way that you wanted them to, did you take God down off of His altar, and declare, “He doesn’t do that anymore. He doesn’t work for me anymore. He’s not God. I will do what I used to do before.” You know, when you’re praying for God for financial prosperity, and somehow you’re still late with the rent, do you buy more lotto tickets? Cause then, if you do, you are not believing that God is still God. [amen] Well, glory be to God. I’m talking to somebody here. [laughter] So, you need to have historic faith that looks back and says, “What did I do the last time I had a crisis?” [amen] You know, “What did I do the last time my marriage was in trouble? Did I exercise faith? Or, did I get into doubt and unbelief and fear?” … What did I do?
I remember so clear, you know, historic faith. I remember my son had set the record for no homework in the fifth grade. [laughter] I mean, the teacher called us, cause she said, “This is a phenomenal achievement. [laughter] This boy has done no homework in so long.” She says he has set a new record for no homeworks. [laughter] … I remember, I remember well, what am I going to do? I wanted to rip the skin off his back. [laughter] You know, and make a sweater out of it or something. I didn’t know, I wasn’t sure what to do. Me and my wife, we discussed it. You know, and I had spanked this boy. I had punished this boy. I’d taken everything away. He was living in a room with bare walls, no toys, no TV, no nothing. I mean, you know, we tried everything. And so, finally, it was a matter of, wait a minute. Wait a minute. It just hit me. Do I believe the seed? [amen] … The seed, do I believe the seed? The seed that was sown in his life, do I believe it?
And that was where I got one of the greatest, greatest lessons that I give to parents. There comes a point in the life of your child, when you have to sit the child down, look him in the face, and say, “Son, this is your life.” [Unh, unh] … “This is your life.” … Look him right in the eyes, “Son, this is your life. The decisions you are making are going to impact your life. I’m going to do fine, I’m going to be living in my house. I’m going to pay my mortgage, my rent. Drive my car. I’m ok. But, if the decisions you are making, are based upon me or your mother, or anything else, you’re making decisions for your life.” [unh, unh] I said, “So, it’s up to you. It’s up to you. We’re willing to go the distance for you to get an education and go to school, whatever. But the decisions you’re making right now are going to put you back in the fifth grade for another year.” … “And I’m not going to, I’m not going to raise one finger to stop it.” [amen, tell the truth Pastor] …
Well, what was I doing? I was putting faith in the seed. I had faith in the seed, that in this child the right thing had been deposited in him that he could make a right decision. But as long as he was going to continue making wrong decisions, fine with me. I was going to faith, I’ll put my faith in the circumstance, in the situation. He turned it around immediately. By the time he got to junior high school, he was becoming an excellent student. By the time he graduated high school, with great honors, he was off to college. He graduated from college, magnum cum laude. All of that stuff. Went on to graduate school and in less time than it takes most people, got his master’s degree. A great student. But the pivotal point was, was I going to trust the seed? [yes] … Now, whenever I have a situation with my adult boys, whenever I have a situation with them, I look at them through historic faith…I remember the fact that yeah, he messed up back then, but that was then. What did I do then. What I did then was I trusted the seed. [right] And guess what? I look back and I go, … cause you know, young adults can make life destroying decisions. [amen] So, I look back now and I say, historically I had to trust what was in him. I had to trust what’s in these boys.
You know, when my youngest son came to us, it was scary, at 21. He says he wants to get married… You know, what could I say? Cynthia was 22 when she got married. [laughter] … Mary, the mother of Jesus, was probably 14. Hnhh. [laughter] The Holy Spirit had to do what, trust her to bring forth the greatest life that ever lived. [amen] So I look at these, I say, you must have historic faith and say, In difficult situations and difficult times, what did you believe? Did you just go in doubt and unbelief? Or the sky’s falling? It’s over? Or, do you have some historic faith that says, hnh, this turned out alright, when I believed for it. [right] And go, this didn’t turn out alright when I didn’t believe for it. We need what kind of faith? [historic] Historic faith. You gotta look back and see what went on. You know? Alright?
Now, let’s look at this next one. This one I call peripheral faith. Peripheral what? [faith] Peripheral faith. Or, you can call it outer faith. What is that? Peripheral faith means you must look at your surroundings. You must examine your friends, your family, and your relations. You know, sometimes you’re going to come into a situation where you’re going to have to believe something where everyone in your peripheral vision, everyone around you is not going to believe for you. [amen] … [yeah, right]… They’re not going to believe. You’re going to be calling it one thing, they’ll call it another. You’d better be careful when you get a symptom who you tell. [yes, amen] Did you hear what I said? [yes sir] Some things you just need to keep to yourself [yes] until the Lord reveals it to you because you need to position your faith for success, and your peripheral faith can be damaged if you’re reaching out, looking in the wrong… if you’ve got somebody in your world that’s telling you you’re never going to make it, your just stupid. You’re never going to get it together. You need to get them outside of your peripheral range. You need to move to Texas. [yeah] Or West Hurley, that’s just as far. [laughter] But you need to look in your peripheral faith.
You know, the circumstances around you cause you to have relativity… I hate to say that, but it’s really true. You can look at your circumstances in your peripheral and go, “Oh, I know I’m not going to make it.” Your peripheral faith, is what you see, your circumstances you see, and the people who are in it that can damage or they can lift, lift your faith. [yes]
Ever notice how families come to the Lord? [yeah] Ever notice that? It’ll start with one person who’ll get on fire for the Lord. Then, everybody can’t stand him. [that’s right] They can’t stand, they don’t want to hear you talking about Jesus. They don’t want to hear you had a great church service. They definitely don’t want to hear it was a bad church service. You know, some of your friends and family won’t come to the Lord because every day you go home from church, you complain about the pastor and the singing and the people and they all get on our nerves. So, why would they want to go to church with you? Glory to God. Ethel, I’m telling the truth here. You need to hang up a sign in your mind that says, “I will, I will bless the Lord and His children, and His children’s children. I’ll bless them.” I’m going, do you know, I was teaching in the Sunday School, and all them snotty nosed kids were a drag. That’s not the truth. [laughter] There had to be one little snotty nosed kid that was fun.
But what you have to realize that’s your circumstances around you, that’s your peripheral vision. And if your faith levels are low in that, you’re going to have to rely on yourself more. If you’re working in a godless environment, many of you do that. Years ago, I still had to work as a performer, an entertainer, so I worked in hotels, and bars and lounges, and concert halls. You’ll be amazed, that’s not a faith filled place. [laughter] That’s not a faith filled place. You’re not going to hear faith talked in the world.
So, you have to do what? You have to insulate yourself against, so that your peripheral faith can still be strong. You can look at things from a circumstantial position, always covering it in the Blood of the Lamb. Always covering what you see and other people in the possibilities of Jesus Christ. Or else you’ll get hung up.
Alright, can we move on to another one? [yes] In this problem, there’s a very important thing of peripheral faith, that becomes a problem. That’s world opinion and church traditions. World opinions and church traditions fit in your peripheral vision of faith. You have to be aware, I mean, you have to be aware that if you’re a 24 hour TV person, you’re being conditioned to a world opinion. If you’re a soap opera person, you’re being conditioned. In your peripheral vision you are not what you eat. You know, we feel like we are. But you’re not what you eat. But you are what you see. Your eye is the window to the soul.
And this week I found an article, a scientific article that proves it. Jesus said it and I always wondered about it, but it proves it. They found that the type of iris that you have in your eye already not determines, but reflects the type of soul that you have. I’m not going to tell you how to do it, but I’m watching your eyes now. [laughter] Cause it said people with psychological problems and people that are negative, their eye becomes a certain way. And you can look in their eyes and you can see, you can see what’s in their soul, because what you watch and what you take in with your eyes, you know, is a what, a window to the soul.
So you have to be careful what you’re watching all the time. You have to be careful because what you’re watching is greatly going to determine who you are. And what you focus your eye on. You know, you can pass your eye over things and the brain records it, but you can focus. If you focus on it, the brain imprints it.
Last Friday at Bible study, I was teaching the people the law of substitution. That in terms, in terms of your peripheral, what you look at … it gets indelibly printed. Why is it so hard to get people over sexual abuse or father neglect? The reason is because they have pictures that are printed in their mind. Why is it a man won’t trust women and he has a series of women that he’s imprinted in his mind and so, whenever he meets another woman, he applies that same print to it? … you know what I’m saying? So, you’re dealing with the things that you’ve seen, and the way that you’ve imprinted them, that will determine greatly. Most people, you know, how can I say this? No pastor can pastor everybody. [true] There’s some people that are so damaged in certain areas that when they meet a pastor who has, you know, a personality or a sense of humor, if they’ve imprinted a certain type of picture of what is godly or holy in their mind, they can’t, they just can’t deal with those kind of things. Do you follow me? [yes] If you have a woman who’s been abused by men, especially men in authority, when she comes up trying to pick a pastor, you know, she’ll pick a female pastor. And the reason is because it’s been so indelibly printed that she sits in my office, she is saying, this guy is going to abuse me. He’s a nice guy, but some way, some how he’s not going to look out for me. And the real problem is she’s just never had a good father. So, she wouldn’t know how to keep one if she had one or to react to it. Because of the imprintation.
So, you must be careful, if your faith is going to grow, you must be careful about what you see. What does your eye see? There’s some movies that are just going to imprint something in your brain. So you need to be careful about what you watch, what you see, and how you interpret what you see. Hello. [amen] Every good looking guy isn’t a good guy. [that’s right] He’s just good looking. And he didn’t have anything to do with being good looking. [right, right] He just woke up and got a beautiful face. So, you can’t be giving him credit for that. Alright?
You know, I inherited this body. I didn’t go to a store and pick it out. I would have picked out somebody else’s body. [laughter] You know what I mean. I’d be 6’6″ and still playing in the NBA. [laughter] That’s funny. What are you laughing at? [laughter] … I had the skills, I’m just too short. [I know] What are you…. come on… [that’s why I’m laughing] That’s why you’re laughing, alright. Somebody show her another seat. [laughter]
Ok, let’s run through it. You need future faith, you need to be able to look ahead. But you need to be, to practice that now. The Apostle Paul says, be ready in season and out of season. How can you be in and out of season unless you have future faith? Where you look ahead and you believe somethings. You need historic faith. Hindsight is 20/20. Therefore, look back with your hindsight, and see where you’ve scored before. Where did you succeed? How is it you came to the process of believing that you could get your faith there? Then peripheral faith. You want to look around you with your faith. Know who to attach to, who to, if you don’t believe I’m anointed, don’t come up here in the prayer line for healing. You have to have some peripheral vision and look around and say, I believe he has faith. I believe that when he lays hands on me, I received my healing. [amen] You have to have your peripheral faith. Who can you identify with? Who hook up with?
What can you believe? And the only way you can do that is by what? Having that last examining faith. Examine yourself. Look deep in your heart. What can you believe for? Don’t say, I’m believing for a mate and you haven’t examined yourself to see if you’re prepared for a mate. You have to examine yourself, cause the minute you get a mate, you’re going to have to give up half of who you are. [whoa] …So, if you’re not ready to give up something, it’s got to be your way or the highway, you are not ready to be married… You’re ready to do, what’s that thing in Alaska where you get dogs, [Iditarod] The Iditarod, you’re ready for the Iditarod, but you’re not ready for marriage. Marriage is a sacrifice. Examine yourself. Are you really ready to put somebody else first? Cause if you’re not, you are not ready to be married. Alright? Examine your faith. You’re not ready for a ministry until you can examine whether or not you have the faith to believe that not only did God call you, but he’s anointed you and appointed you and He’s going to be with you in it. [amen] Alright. Hallelujah. Praise God. So, we need to examine ourselves, in Jesus’ Name.
Now I want you, I want you to be here next week. I’m going to minister to you. We’re going to talk about revealed faith, intuitive faith, and taught faith. Cause we need to develop some faith here and attack somethings. God is good. [All the time].
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